Brad Newley has won the Sydney Kings Most Valuable Player Award for a stellar 2016-17 season
Newley finished as the team’s top scorer (6th best in the league at 17.57 ppg) and top assist man (7th in the league at 4.09 per game). He was also 10th best in the league in steals (1.22 per game), pulled down 5 rebounds per game and shot a solid 80% from the free throw line.
Great stats don’t tell the whole story when it comes to the contribution Newley made to the team. On the court, he was our emotional leader, and his passion for the game was always on full display – whether that be a big game on the road or an early season training session. Off the court, he also went above and beyond. When it came to his involvement in the community, Brad was one of the team’s most enthusiastic participants. He made countless school visits, inspiring kids all across Sydney as well as representing his chosen associations – Manly and Hornsby – with exuberance.
Brad Newley was also the overwhelming vote-getter among the members, polling 36% more votes than the next highest player and justifiably winning Members’ Player of the Year. His passion was there for all to see on game-day, and his intensity and effectiveness at both ends of the floor were clearly recognised by our members. As mentioned above, he led the team in scoring and assists and his consistency from one game to the next was remarkable. Newley was almost always among our best performers, whether the team was winning or losing – and that was also reflected by the comments made by our members.
Kevin Lisch has been named the Sydney Kings Defensive Player of the Year.
Lisch’s prowess on the defensive end is well recognised across the NBL, having been voted the best defensive player in the entire league in 2015-16 and his intensity at that end didn’t let up in 2016-17. He led the league with 1.89 steals per game and his commitment to defence is particularly impressive considering he plays such a major role at the offensive end.
The science tells a story too when it comes to Lisch – the team’s load monitoring data on player work rate and intensities consistently saw Kevin among the team leaders.
Aleks Maric has been named the Mike Wrublewski Most Inspirational Player for the 106-17 season.
Aleks’ had the third-best field goal percentage in the entire league – 59.3% – as well as grabbing the 13th most steals per game. His overall plus/minus was also consistently the highest among the entire playing group, especially on tough nights when the results didn’t go our way.
But his contribution to the team isn’t really done justice by the numbers. Aleks set the tone among the group, whether it was setting hard screens to free up teammates, boxing out the opposition to help secure a vital rebound or making the extra pass that made a good shot a great one.
Most importantly, Aleks’ leadership is what has set him apart this season. The example he sets for the rest of the group – at training, on game-day and in the community – is nothing short of remarkable, and for that, he’s a thoroughly deserving recipient of this award.
Laurie Watterson Clubman of the Year – John Davidson
John has been a massive contributor to the Sydney Kings every single year since the team’s inception. John helps manage the relationship with the teams, media and TV on game day. What makes John’s contribution extra special is that he does it all on a voluntary basis. His specific contributions this season, as well as those from the past three decades, makes John an especially deserving recipient of the Laurie Watterson Clubman of the Year Award.
European interest in Sydney Kings stars
The Sydney Kings Brad Newley and guard Jason Cadee have both received begun short playing stints with Greek A1 Basketball League (GBL) clubs.
Newley and Cadee, who received offers from AEK Athens and Kymis B.C. respectively, were granted permission by the Kings organisation to take on short term contracts.
Newley, 31, and Cadee, 25, have just concluded strong NBL seasons where they were integral in steering the Kings to 13 wins, the club vying for a playoff position until the final 48 hours of the regular season. The Kings had come off a six-win campaign the previous year.
The explosive play of Newley was recognised at Monday night’s NBL MVP awards dinner, where he finished sixth in MVP voting while Cadee is a renowned sharp shooter, winning the NBL three-point shooting contest earlier in the preseason before forming an exciting backcourt combination with two-time NBL MVP Kevin Lisch.
Sydney Kings Managing Director Jeff Van Groningen stated that the club is fully supportive of players continuing to improve their games provided such opportunities fit well around the team’s existing scheduling.
“We are firm believers that our players should have the chance to continue their professional development and retain their sharpness during the NBL off-season. It’s certainly no surprise to us that Brad and Jason have currency in the international market. Both players have ongoing commitments to the Sydney Kings and we look forward to them coming back to us after these short-term stints are complete.”
The NBL standard of play is recognised worldwide, with many of the league’s key players expected to take part in various international competitions during the off-season. Many of the League’s younger players also compete in the SEABL competition, Waratah League, NZBL and various other state-based competitions, while others use the entire off-season to recuperate and focus on conditioning and recovery.
Cadee will conclude his Greek stint by the middle of April while it is expected Newley’s commitment in Greece will end around the end of May. Both players will return to Australia shortly thereafter.
The Kings pre-season training for the 2017 – 2018 season begins on July 31st.